Could my life-long postnasal drip be connected to a cystic fibrosis gene?
I'm 30, and for as long as I can remember I've had chronic sinus issues and excess sputum production--I cannot go half an hour of socialising or talking without having to spit out phlegm. It's a disaster socially and professionally. I've ruled out food and other allergies, so it must be a genetic predisposition?
Apparently there is mounting evidence that people who carry *one* allele for CF can be plagued with sinus and mucus problems that fall short of CF but can still be debilitating.
Most doctors, I've heard, tend to be dismissive of this, but based on my exploration of this topic it seems plausible that being a CF carrier can predispose you to sputum and cough issues. I want to get tested for it.
So can you be tested for the CF gene, even if you don't know of anyone in your family who has CF or has the gene?
I'm not particularly close to much of my family and I don't want to be digging into personal questions like this. But I do want to know if I am a carrier for CF, and whether this may be plaguing me with congestion and post-nasal drip all my life.
The only other idea that comes to mind is that I have an adenoid issue. From the web: "Adenoid infection may cause symptoms such as excessive*mucus*production, which can be treated by its removal."
I briefly saw an ENT before, but it was a short visit and he was, although polite, rather dismissive; he did not know the extent of the problem.
Neither the ENT or anyone else, for that matter, should be “dismissive” of your concerns. Your comment regarding the strong association between CF and chronic infection of the nose and/or sinuses is correct. Chronic rhinosinusitis has a major impact on the quality of life of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) and may contribute to progression of chronic lung disease. Despite multiple sinus surgeries, maxillary sinus involvement may continue to be a recurrent problem.
You can and should have genetic testing for CF. The following information is from Goldman: Cecil’s Textbook of Medicine and I believe it to be relevant to your questions. I realize that you may not be familiar with some of the medical terms but, in any event, I suggest that you discuss my response, including the Table 89-2, below, with your physician. Should your physician not have a strong interest in CF or, for that matter, interest and expertise in chronic respiratory disease, you and he/she would do well to refer you to the nearest Cystic Fibrosis Clinic for thorough evaluation. This should not be considered an exceptional or unwarranted possibility because what you describe has and will continue to have a major impact on your quality of life indefinitely and so you and your doctor should not hesitate to seek assistance from experts in the field of chronic upper and lower respiratory tract disease.
Many thanks Dr Tinkelman. I'm assuming the note on Table 89-2 is from that particular textbook. (I haven't had access to a computer for a while, my apologies for the delay).
If you get this reply:
So would it be correct to say that having only one allele for CF--and not the two required for full-blown CF--can contribute to chronic sinus/phlegm issues? I will certainly bring this up to my GP and endeavor to get tested--most likely, I assume, for the most common CF mutations. (A potential problem with this though is that perhaps one of the less common mutations could be at the root of this)
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